• A Sun

    A Sun

    ★★★★½

    Calls to mind for me The Godfather. A tale of family, of fathers and sons, the bonds built and broken, the women suffering under the shadow of the many shades of masculine stupidity, all posing as a crime drama, and what an epic one it is, and what a beautiful one it is.

    Gorgeously lensed, divinely, unforgettably, uniquely, counter intuitively scored, with a score of performances both large and small that linger in the memory (Samantha Ko' reactions, and Kuan-Ting…

  • Personal Shopper

    Personal Shopper

    ★★★★½

    I put off watching this movie for 4 years as, perhaps influenced by the mind numbingly prosaic previous collaboration between director and star, I figured it'd be deathly dull.

    This movie is not deathly dull.

    Kristen Stewart is brilliant, her movie star dial turned down to zero as she blends seamlessly into this world, communicates so much without a lick of actorly grandstanding. Assayas' screenplay gives away nothing, avoids all phony exposition, works in slow drip, naturalistic fashion, trusting Stewart…

  • Man of La Mancha

    Man of La Mancha

    ★★

    A terrible movie with a couple of very nice songs (for which the credit cannot go to anyone involved in the making of this movie), and a tremendous O'Toole performance at the centre of it blending the height of madness with the heights of frail vulnerability to beautiful ends. Loren's most heaving bosom helps. If only the rest of the movie moved so engagingly.

  • 1922

    1922

    ★★★★

    King's ode to Poe brought to life triumphantly. The photography is glorious at vividly bringing to life the changing moods of the movie, the score (very much the real thing) is outlandishly inspired in the way that it goes about doing the same, and the performances that drive the whole experience from Dylan Schmid and Neal McDonough, and Molly Parker are all wonderful works of evoking varying shades of regret.

    Then at the centre of the whole thing is Thomas…

  • Pet Sematary

    Pet Sematary

    ★½

    Material like this really, really does not mesh with the sort of movie this one seeks to be, and when it is attempted the entire thing really just comes off as unintentionally comic.

    Thankfully the longer this movie goes the more at least to a degree it decides to some extent to embrace the utter stupidity of what it is doing, and basically works as a work of black comic camp.

    Still, that doesn't at all forgive the sheer number…

  • Elevator to the Gallows

    Elevator to the Gallows

    ★★★½

    Perhaps that meeting point in history where American noir met France's nouvelle vague, the most remarkable thing about Elevator to the Gallows for me is that Louis Malle was 24 years old when he made it. It is a movie instilled with the rebellious, thoughtless, of the moment spirit of youth actually made by someone still at that stage of life. A rarity.

    Its plot is pretty stupid if you really start to think about it, and I'm not entirely…

  • Lacombe, Lucien

    Lacombe, Lucien

    ★★★★½

    The sad story of a real heel. Lacombe, Lucien works so well to me primarily because Malle tells the story of the collaborators, with the resistance always out of frame, it's a rare and daring approach to take, that renders the entire thing infinitely more interesting than it might otherwise be.

    Furthermore for planting at the centre of it this deplorably wayward lost boy who you spend the entire movie waiting for the redemption of, Malle has dramatically got you…

  • Romance

    Romance

    ★★★

    The movie I was reminded of most while watching this one was Richard Benjamin's Mermaids. Like that, this one seeks to probe the mind of the tortured young brunette at its centre via her own pensive voiceover narration.

    I think Breillat does a tremendous job burrowing down, down, deep down into the twisted complications of the psyche, into the mind of misery. The movie is infamous for all of its graphic qualities, but I think it's a shame that all…

  • Walkabout

    Walkabout

    ★★★★

    "That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain. The happy highways where I went, and cannot come again."

    A simple film, which to talk too much about is probably to cheapen and lessen the experience of. Walkabout starts off a little rough when it attempts to do things as unnatural as expecting its actors to speak dialogue, or composing a dramatic setpiece, but as it settles, and becomes more about the forging of youthful bonds without…

  • 10 Rillington Place

    10 Rillington Place

    ★★★½

    There is a lot to take issue with in this movie, a lot that could keep it from being taken especially seriously, principally the unrelenting, and immediate oddness of Attenborough's performance, how there is almost nothing resembling warmth or much in the way of humanity in it, and how could any of these people be fooled by all the games that he plays?

    Thankfully that subsides fairly quickly as the movie starts to turn and turn and turn into something…

  • The Front Runner

    The Front Runner

    ★★★

    To me The Front Runner is made by the large cast (that and the slick and breezy, very easy to watch quality of its production) who all in the comparatively little time that they get bring the shades that this movie seeks to adorn itself in to life. There are often little exchanges, single lines penned in ways other than the ordinary, and short scenes that through the enriching by a strong ensemble make Jason Reitman's movie something other than…

  • Tristana

    Tristana

    ★★★★

    It was Pedro Almodovar who rose to prominence in post-Franco Spain with a streak of the deliciously profane, with a spirit of the chaotic, emblematic of new freedoms in a new nation. For Luis Bunuel, going strong since before there was a Franco's Spain, to have thrown this thing together when the tyrant still reigned is nothing less than a glory.

    Tristana is a short, quiet, unassuming movie in which barely a voice is raised, where the old ways reign,…